Can I use my existing dimmer switch with LED dimmable light bulbs?

LED GU10 Dimmable Next Gen light bulb

LED GU10 Dimmable Next Gen light bulb

There are two types of modern dimmer switch trailing and leading edge. A trailing edge dimmer switch is generally suitable to use with LED GU10 light bulbs. Through testing we have established that the Varilight product range is one of the best LED dimmers for LED lighting.

Varilight V-Pro and Eclipse dimmer switches have one of the lowest minimum load settings of all dimmer switches, 10 Watts.  If you are dimming 3 GU10 4.5 Watt bulbs your are just meeting this load. For instance if you were only using 2 bulbs e.g. 9 Watts, on this dimmer then you may experience some flickering when dimming.

Some of our customers have purchased Aurora LED dimmers only to  find that the minimum load is a massive 50 Watts (not much use for LEDs) on replacing the dimmer with a Varilight all their issues were resolved.

You may find your current dimmer switch works but there is a chance you may need to still replace the dimmer switch with one which is compatible with LED dimmable bulbs. LED dimmer switches can be purchased from our store. If you experience flickering when dimming the bulb or buzzing you should change the dimmer switch.

Surprisingly the old-fashioned style of dimmer switches CAN be used with LED bulbs. The internal variable resistor in the dimmer switch simply reduces the amount of voltage available for the bulb which in turn reduces its brightness. LED bulbs are far more sensitive to voltage than conventional incandescent and halogen bulbs, and so small changes made to the dimmer switch setting have a much larger effect on brightness.

The new style of dimmer switch, Leading Edge, which turns the supply on and off CANNOT be used with 240V AC LED bulbs as it will seriously reduce their operational lifetime.

To find out what kind of dimmer switch you have it is not necessary to be an electrician. If the dimmer switch feels warm to the touch when the lights have been on and dimmed for a while, you have the old style; otherwise you have the modern version. We do sell LED dimmer switches.

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